Most immigration judges will grant an extension at the first master calendar hearing to allow a respondent in court proceedings to try to find an attorney. However, it is rare to receive more than one extension for that purpose, and the Immigration Court does not have any court-appointed attorneys. Certainly, it is a good idea to obtain legal counsel in removal proceedings. You can look for experienced immigration attorneys here on Avvo, at www.aila.org or www.immigrationlawhelp.com. You may wish to contact Catholic Charities or Latin American Association in Atlanta for potential case assessment or possible referrals to private attorneys if you and your husband do not meet the requirements for those agencies.
Regarding the number of hearings, there is not a particular number beyond one. That depends on the case, whether the respondent is eligible for and requesting any kind of relief from removal (deportation), and how backed up the court is with scheduling. An experienced immigration attorney can help advise what to expect from the court and hearing process once she/he assesses your husband's circumstances in more detail.
Ms. Doerrie's answer to your question is general in nature, as not all facts and circumstances relating to the specific person(s) and situations involved are known to her. Ms. Doerrie recommends consulting with an immigration attorney regarding your specific facts and circumstances prior to making any legal decision or submitting any form or application. This response does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.
Don't do this without an attorney.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
You must get an attorney for removal proceedings. Mistakes at the early stages will result in tragic circumstances years from now. Do not spare expense. Hire the best lawyer (not always the most expensive) for your case. The lawyer should have substantial removal proceeding and immigration experience and be respected by his/her peers.
After years of only practicing in Atlanta immigration court -- the short answer is yes; it's likely that the immigration judge will grant a continuance if this is his first appearance but, consider the gravity of the situation. This is a very serious situation that absolutely necessitates a professional with removal defense experience. At the very least you should consult with an immigration attorney prior to your first master calendar hearing.